Comparative effects of aging process on phosphatidylcholine biosynthesis pathway: a key role for CTP-phosphocholine cytidylyltransferase?

Ann N Y Acad Sci. 1993 Sep 24;695:86-90. doi: 10.1111/j.1749-6632.1993.tb23034.x.


The effects of aging on phosphatidylcholine (PtdCho) biosynthesis were investigated in liver and brain subcellular fractions of the rat, by studying the activity and regulation of CTP phosphocholine cytidylyltransferase (CT), the rate limiting enzyme in PtdCho biosyntheses. With both tissues, CT activity was present in cytosolic and microsomal fractions, but in brain, CT activity seemed to escape to an inhibiting feed back mechanism. In brain, CT activity was greater in the microsomal fraction, whilst in liver, a higher CT activity was seen in the cytosolic fraction. In liver fractions of aged animals, there was no significant change in CT activity or its sensitivity to negative feedback regulation, as compared to young animals. In contrast, a progressive age related decline in CT activity was observed in the brain microsomal fraction. Furthermore, the incorporation of newly formed CDPCho into PtdCho was also reduced in aged animals, and paralleled the decreased incorporation of choline in PtdCho. The age-related decrease in CT activity cannot be explained by product feed back inhibition or decreased diacylglycerol levels. Since PtdCho is a major membrane lipid, the reduction in CT activity may lead to a decreased membrane integrity and fluidity during the aging process, and these effects may be greater in neuronal cells.

MeSH terms

  • Aging / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Brain / enzymology*
  • Brain / growth & development
  • Choline-Phosphate Cytidylyltransferase
  • Enzyme Activation
  • Liver / enzymology*
  • Liver / growth & development
  • Nucleotidyltransferases / metabolism*
  • Phosphatidylcholines / biosynthesis*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred F344


  • Phosphatidylcholines
  • Nucleotidyltransferases
  • Choline-Phosphate Cytidylyltransferase